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Driving Progress with Digitization And VR In Medicine

Medifox Interview

In recent years, many sectors have been revolutionised and permanently changed by means of technology and digitization. Thus, there are also more and more possibilities for the use of technologies in the healthcare sector. Virtual Reality in particular offers enormous potential. VR in medicine applications can not only help nursing staff to do their work more effectively, but also help patients to feel better and recover more quickly.

We had the pleasure of talking to Francesca Warnecke from Medifox DAN about their innovative software solution for the management of care and social services. The software supports care facilities in the planning, documentation and billing of care services and enables seamless collaboration between caregivers, administration and patients. In the process, patient data can be stored and evaluated securely and in compliance with data protection regulations.

In our interview, we will take a closer look at digitization in care and the many possibilities of VR apps and how these technologies can revolutionize the future of healthcare.

What distinguishes MEDIFOX DAN from the rest of the medical and care industry?

FW: Behind MEDIFOX DAN is a team of innovative minds that works daily with its many years of industry experience and concentrated expertise to develop professional software solutions for outpatient and inpatient care, youth welfare facilities and therapeutic practices throughout Germany. In addition, we support caring relatives with further training offers and the dispatch of care aid boxes.

What started as a small start-up more than 25 years ago is now a well-established software company in the health and care sector. Our goal is to provide caregivers with the best possible relief in their daily tasks and thus make healthcare a little better every day. Since November 2022, we are officially part of the ResMed group of companies and thus have a strong partner at our side who shares this mission and supports us in doing so.

How is software for outpatient and inpatient healthcare truly helpful?

FW: Care is often faced with new challenges in all areas of care - whether it be the

  • the implementation of new legal principles, such as the current regulations on rates,
  • the high demands on quality-assured care,
  • staffing limits
  • or the shortage of skilled workers.

Software can and must provide support here in order to help digitize and simplify work processes. Without digitization, for instance in the form of software, facilities will no longer be able to hold their own in the fiercely competitive market.

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How do you digitally connect people?

FW: We do this with the daily use of our software in the daily care and practice routine. Each product offers all the features to digitally map all areas of an outpatient care service, an inpatient facility or a treatment practice - and that in a mobile and flexible way via different end devices.

A good example of digital networking with MEDIFOX DAN is our MD Connect programme. This innovative online portal allows selected data from the respective MD Outpatient or MD Inpatient healthcare software to be called up at any time and made available to staff, doctors, relatives or pharmacies in different portals. For example, nursing staff can view and edit their own timesheets, duty rosters or holiday requests from the comfort of their own homes.

The MD Connect doctor's cockpit provides doctors with an overview of their patients' health data. Relatives receive important information about the state of health of their family members via the family portal, especially in times of Corona and increased flu outbreaks, and are thus always up to date. In addition, it is possible to contact the family members directly via video calls.

In episode 30 of our German podcast PflegeFaktisch, one of our customers describes very impressively how they introduced the online portal MD Connect and how this has noticeably improved communication among all groups involved in the care process.

Where do you currently perceive the greatest challenges in the integration of digital assistance at German hospitals and care facilities?

FW: One of the challenges is definitely the current situation in the facilities. On the one hand, there is a lack of staff to implement and carry out digitisation projects. This simply requires time and people who stand behind the projects and lead them to success. On the other hand, there is a lack of appropriate interfaces to integrate the individual products meaningfully into new or already existing system landscapes.

For me, the current digital landscape looks like this: There are a large number of good, digital products that can really support everyday nursing care. However, these are primarily individual products and isolated solutions that are hardly connected with each other. This is precisely why there are interface projects such as those of gematik or the healthcare for Innovation initiative.

Let's take a look into the future: what do you expect the care of the future to look like and what part will digitization projects play in it?

FW: For the healthcare of the future, I would like to see shared, process-optimised and, above all, self-determined care. The idea of a large platform comes to mind; a platform on which all stakeholders involved in care can exchange information and on which the relevant data is available to everyone. The people in need of care or their relatives can use it to put together the best possible care for themselves and interact with those involved. This platform and networking idea is also represented by Cody®Care. I think this is a nice idea of future quality-assured care and provision.

Care 4.0 and digitalization are inevitable and urgently needed. Therefore, I can only advise all institutions in the healthcare structures to initiate and implement digitalisation projects. Now is the time for this and politicians have also recognised this: There are now numerous funding opportunities for digitisation projects in care. Our MEDIFOX DAN funding team will be happy to advise interested parties and also provide support in the application process. The team can best be reached at the following e-mail address: foerderprojekte@medifoxdan.de.

What do you have in mind when you talk about care 4.0?

FW: That's an exciting question. If you type care 4.0 into Google, 530,000 hits appear in 40 seconds. Most of the keywords are

  • Digitization and technology in care 4.0,
  • robotics,
  • artificial intelligence (AI),
  • Relief for nursing staff,
  • the digital future of care,
  • but also data security
  • and ethical concerns.

I personally think that care 4.0 is an umbrella term that heralds a new age of care. It is time to take a differentiated look at the individual buzzwords and topics behind it and to see how future-oriented, process-optimised, digitalised and quality-assured care can be established in the various settings.

By the way, organizations such as pharmaceutical expert Boehringer Ingelheim already use Virtual Reality training to train their staff.

If a VR in medicine authoring tool was available that allowed you to create and deliver training without programming skills, what would that mean for you?

FW: VR is part of the digitized world, but it is still in its infancy in nursing. I tried out VR reanimation training at the nursing practice center in Hanover. It was exciting, but also still very unfamiliar.

For me, VR in medicine is a new learning format in basic, further, and advanced training in the health sector and it is great that there are companies like 3spinLearning that offer a platform to set up VR training themselves.

For us as software producer, this is of course always an opportunity to get to know new companies and to network with them. In this way, we can offer our customers forward-looking technologies that support them in their everyday care and shape care digitally.

Thank you Francesca for the interesting interview!

About Francesca Warnecke

Francesca WarneckeAfter training as a registered nurse and studying for a degree in nursing management, Francesca Warnecke took on leading tasks in quality management and thus got to know numerous areas of care.

A trained QM auditor and specialist healthcare educator, she has been working at MEDIFOX DAN for ten years and is the contact person there for nursing-related questions, among other things. Since 2020, she has also managed the German podcast PflegeFaktisch.


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